Over fifty medical scientists and academics from the Philippines and UK gathered on 6 November 2018 at the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) of the University of the Philippines for the second year of the International Workshop in ‘Omics in Infectious Diseases, popularly known as the Genomic Epidemiology on Infectious Diseases in the Philippines or GEID 2.0.
Researchers from the PGC and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) led the five-day bilateral workshop, which was supported by the Newton Agham Programme Researcher Links Workshop and geared towards providing a deeper knowledge of ‘omics technology in the active surveillance and rapid identification of drug-resistant pathogens and assistant infectious disease (ID) control and management.
In attendance at GEID 2.0 was a diverse group of policymakers, public health workers, clinicians and biomedical researchers from the UK as well as Philippine higher education and medical institutions and government agencies. Aside from UP, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology, St. Luke’s Medical Centre, LSHTM, University of Glasgow and Nottingham Trent University participated in the workshop.
In his welcome remarks, Dr. Taane Clark, the project’s principal investigator from LSHTM, highlighted the potential of an ID surveillance technology in the onset of rapid outbreaks of HIV, TB, malaria and dengue across the Philippines. Clark also expressed his appreciation of the growing network of ID genomic surveillance in the Philippines that harnessed the expertise offered by LSHTM.
The workshop included a series of parallel symposia and hands-on analytical short courses on software generation, as well as poster presentations between sessions.
This year’s GEID coordinating cohort was composed of Dr. Raul Destura, UP-PGC’s program director for health and Dr. Cynthia P. Saloma, UP-PGC’s executive director, and from LSHTM, Dr. Taane Clark, Prof. Martin Hibberd and Dr. Julius Hafalla. The same team from LSHTM and UP-PGC organized GEID 1.0 in October 2017 through the same grant program.
PGC is a research unit under the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs that works on areas of genomics and bioinformatics in health and medicine, agriculture, biodiversity, forensics and ethnicity, industry and the environment.